Continuing our get-to-know series, this blog post features Yaneth Torres, client support specialist for Coopera.
My parents came to the U.S. from El Salvador and I was born in Los Angeles. Shortly after that, we moved to Perry, Iowa, where I grew up. I attended Grand View University, where I enjoyed being involved in multicultural events and clubs on campus.
After graduating, I was working as an administrative assistant at El Mariachi Restaurant, one of three restaurants owned by my uncle on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. I discovered this position on LinkedIn and learned more about it by talking with Kenia Calderon, the sister of one of my Grand View classmates, who also happened to be Coopera’s Client Relations Director. Despite Hawaii’s beauty, I jumped at the chance to return home and take a job serving fellow Hispanics.
How does your past experience reflect Coopera’s mission?
I always liked being involved in the Hispanic community. At Grand View I was part of the Multicultural Student Ambassadors Leadership program and the Diversity Alliance Club. I also mentored Hispanic students at Des Moines’ East High School. I believe my passion for serving Hispanics aligns well with credit unions’ service profile and Coopera’s mission.
What will you do as Coopera’s Client Support Specialist?
My position supports the delivery and fulfillment of Coopera’s products and services. This includes assessments and analytics reports, consulting, training, marketing services and translations. I’m part of the Client Relations team, and we all work closely together to coordinate client communications, support new-client onboarding processes and fulfill client requests.
What makes you a natural for this position?
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a marketing emphasis. That background, along with my outgoing personality, will help me connect with and better serve Coopera’s clients.
Do you have a personal or business philosophy?
I always try to be on the lookout for opportunities to make a positive impact on whatever it is that I do. I manifest it daily by finding ways to help others, exceed expectations, and build positive relationships with those around me.
What would you like to see credit unions do to better serve Hispanic members?
It would be extremely helpful if more credit unions had diversified employee bases. Too often Hispanics don’t seek the type of services they really need due to language and cultural differences with an institution. Greater staff diversity would promote a freer exchange, which would result in better financial relationships for all involved.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve done that most people don’t know?
I once went shark-cage diving off of Oahu’s North Shore, Hawaii’s most famous surfing area. The boat took us three miles offshore and sunk a floating cage in the water that allowed four or five of us in the water at a time.
We were surrounded by sharks of all types and, even though we were well protected, I was freaking out. I finally decided I could do this, and it turned into a wonderful experience. I learned never to underestimate myself, and I had a feeling of tremendous accomplishment once it was all over.
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